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Hope Deferred Makes The Heart Sick: How to Handle Disappointment

Shattered Dreams

Six months ago, our lives became shattered and fractured in one fatal swoop. All of our dreams and our sense of security vanished, leaving nothing but a nasty scar. Since then, we have been struggling to find our footing, left with only unanswered questions to satisfy our thirsty and yearning hearts. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Our hearts have certainly felt sick and heavy as we traverse through the dense fog of uncertainty. One foot in front of the other, unable to see the road ahead of us.

My husband, who is a man full of integrity, lost his job as a police officer. An all out Facebook campaign was launched against him, leaving his family caught in the cross hairs. It was a horribly frightening time as confused and hurting people sent death threats, posted our address, and ultimately endangered our children who live in our home. Volatile is an understatement. It left us wondering how on earth something like this could happen. It also left us wondering what next? My husband’s only dream snatched away by a couple of clicks upon a screen.

hope disappointment

Hope Lost

Sweet friend, have you ever wanted and hoped for something with a quiet desperation, only to have that hope or dream dashed to pieces as the dream fell from the rocky crag?

Maybe the dream was fulfilled, but once you received the reality of it, you quickly realized that it wasn’t exactly what you were looking for.

Or, maybe you achieved the dream, but unexpectedly lost it and you never had a plan B because that was all you had ever truly wanted.

What if you’re still waiting, and have been waiting for what feels like forever for the dream to be fulfilled?

You carry on in a fog because life moves on but a piece of you feels robbed of the life you had hoped for. You shake your fist towards the heavens and cry out with an angry and loud, WHAT NOW? Hope deferred makes the heart sick…

How Not to Handle Disappointment

Sure, new opportunities will arise, and new dreams may be borne, but now you no longer chase after them as you once did. Now there’s greater room for disappointment, and the deep sorrow that often accompanies it. Life can be difficult and dreams don’t always come true so what can we do to get back up again? I grew up in a home where dreaming was very discouraged for this very reason. Here are all the ways in which I handle hope deferred.

  • Normally, I quit and convince myself that it wasn’t that big of a deal in the first place.
  • I will conjure up all the worst case scenarios of how this dream could possibly go wrong and fail.
  • Mostly, I will quickly move on to another dream, never fully seeing the first one through. Honestly, I am really good at starting things, but not finishing them, much like the laundry. Any one else feel me on this one?
  • Worst case scenario, is that I refuse to allow myself to even dream any longer, because the risk feels far greater than the reward.

How To Handle Disappointment

Here is what I am learning as I have watched my husband navigate a very difficult time in his life. It has felt like an overwhelming, hopeless, eternal abyss at times. Disappointment can teach us something useful if we allow it to.

  • My husband doesn’t know how to quit. It’s just not an option for him.
  • No matter how many no’s he has heard, he keeps on going.
  • Every time he get’s passed over, told he isn’t the right fit, he keeps on trying.
  • No matter how discouraged he may feel, he somehow finds a way to stay positive.

You see, there is something to a dream. It’s like the longing becomes etched into a person’s very being, and the dream itself compels us to continue on until it is fulfilled.

New Year, Same Dream

As we enter into yet another new year, maybe the dreams you’ve been holding close still haven’t come to fruition. May I encourage you to not give in to discouragement. Hang onto whatever shred of hope still remains. I believe we have these dreams inside of us because they are meant to be fulfilled.

Even as our future remains uncertain, as hope deferred makes the heart sick, so also a longing fulfilled is like a tree of life. I encourage you, from the depths of our own uncertainty, to chase after your dreams with reckless abandon as though they hold no possibility of disappointment, only the promise of fulfillment. I have to believe that it will work out, because at forty two years old, I’ve learned that the universe somehow does that. It can take the worst, most impossible situations and turn them into good.

Here is to dreams fulfilled in 2020.

Angela Bucher

Angela lives in the Pacific Northwest with her very handsome husband and their three beautifully spunky girls. She is forty-two years old and has only just discovered her love for writing, proving that it’s never too late to find yourself and your dreams. She wholeheartedly believes there is power in our words, and in sharing our stories with others. Her life has been marked by tragedy and loss, but it has also been laden with layers of hope, love, and a life she never dreamt was meant for her. She believes there is so much beauty to be found in our brokenness and her passion is creating a safe space for others to be open, real, and flawlessly imperfect. She is the author of her first memoir called Redeeming Destiny: Dancing into Unexpected Truth. She now dedicates her life, through speaking and writing, to walk alongside others, as they too, learn to dance into their own unique design and destiny. She loves coffee, naps, and all things books!

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